Create exchange certificate

1) Start the renewal process

We need to generate a renewal request. Load up the Exchange Console, and select the “Server Configuration” on the left. It should load up your Exchange Certificates on the lower half of your screen. Look for your certificate that is about to expire. To get the details on the certificates, simply double click and it will load the info, if you’re unsure of which certificate it is, use the thumbprint provided in the Event viewer, and compare it to the Thumbprint on the “Details” tab of the certificate. Once you find it, highlight it and select “Renew Exchange Certificate…” on the action pain to the right.

Renew Exchange Certificate

2) Create renewal request Wizard

This will open the certificate renewal request wizard (as shown below):

Certificate Renewal Request Wizard

Simply choose a file name and location to save the request. It’s easiest just to save it on your desktop. After, hit “Renew”. This will generate the certificate renewal request.

3) Copy certificate request to clipboard

Locate the file you created above inside of Windows Explorer. Right click on this file and select “Open”, or “Open With”. When prompted, uncheck the “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” option, and select “Notepad” as the program to open the file with. Example below:

Open with Notepad

This will open the certificate request. Now highlight all the text and copy it to your clipboard. Example below:

Certificate request in Notepad

Now we submit the request! Log on to your certificate authority web interface. On the first screen, we will select “Request a certificate”, as shown below:

Then select “advanced certificate request”, as shown below:

Advanced certificate request

And now, choose “Submit a certificate request by using a base-64 encoded CMC or PKCS #10 file, or submit a renewal request by using a base-64-encoded PKCS #7 file.”, again example below:


Finally, we are going to populate the request. Inside of the “Saved Request:” text box, paste your request from your clipboard (which we copied to your clipboard above), then for “Certificate Template:” choose “Web Server”. Example is below:

Now select Submit! On the next page that loads, simply select “Download certificate” and save it to a location you’ll remember.

4.1) certificate request on own server 

Open a command prompt and use certreq.exe to convert the request to a certificate:

certreq.exe -submit -attrib “CertificateTemplate:WebServer” c:\ACMEcert.req
and link it to the CA, or certificate authority, in our made up office this machine might be called ACME-CA.

NOTE: It prompted for a name for the certificate, I chose ACMEcert.cer

4.1b Change saved certificate format for failed requests in cert.exe fails

file format

  1. If you already have certificate request file, do the following:
  2. Open Notepad program.
  • In the File menu, click Open.
  • In the Open File dialog, locate certificate request file.
  • In the File menu, click Save As… option.
  • Type a name for new request file. In the Encoding drop-down list, select ANSI.
  • Click Save to save the request.
  • Now you can resubmit certificate request to Microsoft Certificate Services
  1. If you are using Exchange Management Shell use the following guidance to save Base64-encoded certificate request to a file with proper encoding:

5) Install certificate on Exchange

We now have a certificate that’s ready to be installed. Go back to the Exchange console where we left off. Inside of the certificate list, you should see an item that has a status that says something about a pending request. Highlight this request, and on the Action Pane, select “Complete request”. I could be wrong on what this says as I can’t remember and did not take screenshots.

A wizard should open up, in this wizard simply point it to the new certificate (the file we just saved at the end of step 4, shown above). Follow the instructions.

6) Assign Services to Certificate

Now that the certificate is installed, we need to assign which services will use it. The new certificate should also now be in the list of certificates inside of Exchange. Highlight the new certificate, right click, and select “Assign Services to Certificate”. Example below:

Assign Services to Certificate

Once the wizard opens up, follow through and when actually prompted for the services check everything except for “Unified Messaging”. Finish the wizard.


7) Delete old certificate

Now we are almost done. Go back to the certificate list inside of Exchange and look for the old certificate that is going to expire. Highlight it, right click, and select “Remove”.


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